Twenty-Four Lessons in Twenty-Four Years

It’s that time of year again! I’ve made another revolution around the sun! I realized that I haven’t done a birthday post in the last two years. Yay craziness.

So after thinking about it, I wanted to share some life lessons I’ve learned over the years. I know I’m young, but I’ve learned a lot in my time. Many of these lessons I’ve learned the hard way. I know I still have so many things to learn, but I wanted to share the things that I’ve learned with you, always in the hopes that someone else gets something from this.

Twenty-Four Lessons

  1. Life has a way of working out: I stress and worry about so many things outside of my control. But there are so many things that work out the way they should, or even better than I expected. For example, I had a lot of stress about where I would be student teaching. Of my class, I was one of the last to get a student teaching placement because of a lot of circumstances. But then I got a job (that I’m still at) in the district I student taught in. Things worked out better than I could have hoped.
  2. It costs nothing to be kind: Kindness is free. Spread that everywhere. I’d rather look back at my life and have spread a trail of kindness than feel like people didn’t know they were loved. On that note…
  3. Be kind to yourself: It’s so important to treat yourself kindly. You’re not a superhero. You can’t do everything, nor should you try to. Treating yourself with kindness is something I’m still working on, but I’m reminded of its importance every single day.
  4. Understand and accept your limits: In the same way of being kind to yourself, you need to understand that you’re limited. You can’t do everything. You’re not a superhero.
  5. Take care of yourself: The ways that you take care of yourself can differ, but it is so important to find time for yourself. Sometimes it can be face masks and naps, but it can also be going to therapy or cleaning what you’ve been putting off.
  6. Do your best every day, no matter what that looks like: Some days, you’re on top of the world. You have unlimited spoons, and you can get everything done. And other days, it’s a struggle just to get out of bed. You shouldn’t hate yourself on the struggle days. Understand that your best changes on the daily, and that’s okay.
  7. Go after what you want: Do the things you want. Start a new hobby. Learn to cook, dance, play a sport. Go back to school. Start over. Find a new career. This life is way too short to be doing something you hate.
  8. You’re never too late to start: On the previous note, if you find something you really want to do, the do it. Most things don’t have an age limit. I read a story of people who were involved in some kind of sobriety program. The people they hung around with all the time would only encourage them to fall back into those habits. So the person they were talking to told them to do all the things they couldn’t do when they were younger. After some more clarification, one of the people found some cooking or decorating classes, and another started to take horse-riding lessons because they had always wanted to be a cowboy. You’re very rarely too old to try new things or learn something new.
  9. Be unapologetically you: Again, life is too short to be anything but yourself. I’m not saying to be obnoxious and be mean to people. But don’t apologize for taking up space or being yourself, as long as you aren’t hurting anyone.
  10. If something is affecting your daily life, then it’s something worth taking care of: Some stresses of life only affect you for a little bit. But other things affect you for a longer time. Those things are the stuff you need to figure out. If you’re consistently angry for no reason, then you should figure out either a way to get rid of your anger without hurting you or anyone else, or figure out the root of what is making you feel that way.
  11. Nobody is paying attention to you: I know sometimes, it can feel as if there is a spotlight on you. There’s not. That thing you’re stressing about? Nobody cares, and very few people are going to notice it. I know it can be hard to believe and break free of that habit, but it’s true. They aren’t watching you. So do you, be you, and stop worrying about what other people think.
  12. Social media does not define you: I know some people who live their lives where every action is posted on social media. But don’t put so much on social media that you forget to actually live your life. I don’t post a lot anymore, but that’s because my life is so much more than anything that can be seen on a screen.
  13. Commentary doesn’t matter unless you need it to: Many people will try to offer advice or criticism on your life. If you don’t value their opinion, then the commentary doesn’t matter. It’s just noise. You really should only accept advice and/or criticism from people you trust.
  14. Quality over quantity: This really applies to a lot of things, like friendships and a number of products. I would rather have an expensive pair of shoes that are going to last me a long time as opposed to a lot of shoes that will all break in a month or two. In the same way, I would rather have one good friend than a hundred mediocre ones.
  15. Invest in the people you care about: Everybody has a different way to express affection. It is so important to spend time with those you care about and help them. In doing so, they put the time and effort into you, and make you both better people as a result.
  16. You don’t have to talk every day to be friends: Some of my closest friends are people I talk to maybe once a week. Others I talk to every day. There is not much difference in either friendship. But I have enough confidence and trust that even though we don’t talk every day, I know nothing will change in those relationships.
  17. Communication solves most problems: Very rarely is it ever possible to over-communicate. The people close to you aren’t mind readers to my knowledge. So it is so incredibly important to communicate. So many issues can be solved by simply communicating the problem.
  18. You can debate and still walk away as friends: I know, in this day and age, it seems as if everyone is polarizing. But it is possible to have a healthy discussion and still be okay at the end of it.
  19. Recognize an argument: Both good and bad arguments. Some topics are not worth getting into a debate on because you know that no opinion is going to change. And still sometimes, people will resort to attacking a person instead of a viewpoint, which is not healthy or okay.
  20. Do your own research: Most information should not be taken at face value. It’s necessary to recognize and understand the importance of being able to research for yourself. There are times when my students ask really good questions that I don’t know the answer to. Rather than tell them something made up, I always tell them that I will research and find out. It’s genuinely one of my favorite things to do. But figure stuff out on your own. Don’t always accept what you’re told.
  21. Self-comfort is the most important aspect of fashion: Trends come in and out, and fads fade. What matters is that you feel comfortable in what you’re wearing. You look better when you feel better, and as a result, it makes you feel better because you know you look better. If you’re not comfortable wearing heels, then don’t! No fashion trend is worth your comfort.
  22. Have a firm handshake: this one is a little weird compared to all the rest on this list, but it’s still good to know. Slightly squeeze the hand you’re shaking. Don’t hold for too long. It definitely helps you make a good impression in an interview.
  23. Leave work at work: Once you clock out or leave for the day, you should be done with work responsibilities. You can still talk about what happened at work and whatnot. But I have heard of a number of teachers who bring work home with them to grade. I absolutely refuse to do that. If I don’t get stuff graded, then it stays until the next time I have available. It’s not worth it just to get it done a day or two quicker.
  24. Every day is new: Start over every day. You don’t have to dwell on the bad points of your past. You can learn from them. But you don’t have to relive them every single day.

So I think that’s it for now! I’ve done a lot in my past twenty-four years, and I’m excited where the next twenty-four (at least will take me!)

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